©Joy Dunlap https://joydunlap.com
During a detour from an organized exploration of Edinburgh, Scotland, I discovered Dolly the sheep. Castles and historic sites had been a treat to see during the bus tour, but we were happy to learn we would have 45 minutes to explore on our own. That welcome news came with an admonishment – the bus would leave promptly and those not on the bus would be left behind.
Most travelers proceeded to local pubs; others darted into nearby shops for souvenirs or sweaters. Ever the history and local culture buffs, my husband and I headed for the nearby Museum of Scotland. While rushing to find the Scottish history section, I came face to face with Dolly. Sure enough, Dolly, aka the cloned sheep, that I’d heard so much about years before, stood right in front of me on display in a glass box. Okay, it was the taxidermy version of Dolly, but still.
Dolly the sheep became a household name in the late ‘90s and in the early 21st century when the public learned she was the first mammal cloned from a somatic (non-reproductive) cell taken from an adult sheep. That cell had been implanted in an unfertilized egg cell, treated (including the use of shock), and later transferred into a surrogate sheep to carry. Dolly lived to be 6 ½ years old.
Since I’m not a scientist, I don’t understand exactly how Dolly came to exist through cloning, but I know that thousands of years ago people would have had difficulty believing that was possible. Now, we accept that it occurred (although debate continues about how and if it should have happened.)
As fascinating as it was to see Dolly the sheep that day, I’m infinitely grateful to know the Lamb of God personally for eternity.
In case you’re interested (or preparing to play trivia), sheep are referenced 200 times in the Bible, and the term lamb(s) is mentioned 191, of which, Passover lambs are specifically identified 11 times.
In ancient times, people sacrificed lambs, which are baby sheep less than a year old, to God as offerings to atone for their sins. Jesus, the Son of God, then served as the Lamb of God and became the ultimate and only sin offering that covers us. Money can’t buy the redemption God offers, nor can acts of service; only the blood of Jesus opens the door for us to receive His mercy and grace.
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 1 Peter 1:18-20 NIV
The blood of God’s Son poured out on the cross of Calvary has the power to save our souls and change our hearts. However, God doesn’t force His way in. We have to believe it to activate it in our lives. Our trust and acceptance in Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection is necessary for us to personally experience God’s saving grace. Otherwise, it is a gift that remains unopened, a ticket left unused.
An interesting footnote about the day I discovered Dolly: Remember the bus driver’s warning that he would leave anyone who didn’t make it to the bus on time? After we boarded, we were riding through the bustling streets of Edinburgh a couple of streets past our meeting place when someone on the bus shouted, “I think those people are trying to catch our bus.” We looked and, sure enough, we spotted a couple running toward us, waving their hands.
“Ahh, we can’t stop the bus here. They’ve missed it,” said the driver transporting us back to our cruise ship to sail away. The traffic and the bus moved forward. We left the man and woman behind, their seats empty on the bus.
- Think about something you’ve come across in a museum or in nature that you weren’t expecting to see.
- What scientific discovery or invention is still awe-inspiring (and difficult) for you to believe?
- When you think of Jesus, do you truly believe His sacrifice covers your sins, missteps and bad choices?
- Is there someone you know in danger of missing out on the eternal love of Jesus and on the abundant, full life He offers on earth today? (Pray now that the mind and heart of him or her will be open to see Him. Pray for God to make Himself known to that person.)
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29 NIV
Remember…Life Is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™